Mystery On Keli - Nui, Entry for Epic Contest #7
Mystery On Keli - Nui, Entry for Epic Contest #7
Jun 25 2008, 01:36 AM
Mask of Time Discovered
Group: Premier Outstanding BZP Citizens
Joined: 17-January 03
Member No.: 4255
Chapter 1: A Turaga’s Council
Tahve stood tall as the doors to the Turaga’s chamber opened. He was Turaga Nolox’s personal guard for the evening, and he stood rigidly to show the reputation of the Guard. It was a great honor for a Matoran to guard the halls of the Turaga in the city of Keli-Nui, and Tahve had been stationed there quite often. He was proud of his job, and did his duty with pride.
However, his position was mostly ceremonial. The Turaga’s chamber was located in the Capital Building, the largest structure in all of Keli-Nui. It was located on the southern end, on the foothills of the mountain that rose above the city. The Capital Building, in addition to having a constant patrol of Guards along its walls, was also home to the city’s Toa Team. There was not a better protected building in all of Keli-Nui.
The leader of that Toa Team was entering the chamber at that point. Rhagre, Toa of Iron, was the self proclaimed leader of the Toa of Keli-Nui, but he looked up to Turaga Nolox and listened to his authority. When Nolox had tough tasks that were too much for the Matoran, he recruited Rhagre, and the Toa followed his orders without question.
Now Rhagre entered the Turaga’s quarters, flanked by two other Matoran Guards. Nolox rose from his desk, and greeted the Toa. “Rhagre, you have returned!”
“Yes, I have, Turaga,” Rhagre said, bowing respectfully. “And I must make a complaint. My statue outside has yet to be polished this week. Already dust has settled upon it!”
“My apologies, Toa Rhagre,” Turaga Nolox said, taking his seat again. “One of the guardsmen shall see to it this instant.” He waved his hand to the Matoran behind Rhagre. One of the Guards rolled his eyes behind Rhagre’s back, but Nolox responded with an understanding smile. Reluctantly, they left the room.
Tahve suppressed a giggle. Rhagre was a skilled Toa, but he had a huge ego. He enjoyed nothing more than to brag about his grand adventures and be admired by the city’s Matoran. What made Rhagre unique was that he actually accomplished all that he bragged of; Tahve had been on a mission with him once and had seen his resourcefulness. But his attitude was sometimes difficult to deal with.
“I do hope you have come to see me on business, and not to simply criticize our cleanliness,” Nolox continued. “The Guard is very thorough, but the Capital Building is very large, and your statue is also very tall.”
“They are forgiven,” Rhagre said. “Besides, they are not the only ones who haven’t made progress; I have heard little of Kavihkli in the city, and seen nothing of him. There are rumors of him, but no specific sightings. If he is in Keli-Nui, he’s doing a good job at hiding.”
Tahve cringed at the name. Kavihkli was a Dark Hunter who had been causing trouble in nearby regions recently. Dark Hunters were bad enough, but Kavihkli was even worst; the Shadowed One, the leader of the Dark Hunters, had sent out news that Kavihkli was now a rogue. When the Shadowed One sent out a warning about his own henchmen, then things were really bad.
“Matoran have been warned about his possible presence, and precautions are being taken,” Rhagre continued. “But so far, there is no progress in locating him and capturing him.”
“I understand, Rhagre,” Nolox said. “I do hope that you continue to put your efforts into searching for him. We cannot let such a dangerous being have free reign in our city.”
Rhagre nodded, and turned to exit the room. However, the doors opened again, and another Toa entered. Rhagre smiled. “Well, hello, Ihrov.”
“Good to see you, Rhagre,” Ihrov said with a tight voice. Ihrov did not think highly of his Toa leader, but often forced himself to show him respect. Next, he turned to the Turaga. “Nolox, I have bad news for you.”
Tahve looked up at the green Toa of Chemistry. Ihrov had been on a mission of great importance for a number of days with his partner; if he was reporting bad news, then something must have gone wrong.
“We received information on the Gang Matoran headquarters,” Ihrov started. “It was located in an old factory on the northern edge of the city. We surrounded it and stormed it successfully, but it was empty. It appears that the Gang Matoran had left hours earlier. It’s as if they knew we were coming. We were able to confiscate some items, but nothing of great value. And we were unable to make any arrests.”
“Where are the confiscated items?” Turaga Nolox asked.
“Pyrah is bringing them in,” Ihrov said. Pyrah was a Toa of Plasma and Ihrov’s partner, who was very energetic but hardly ever spoke a word. At that moment, the red Toa entered the Turaga’s Chamber, and set down a box on the Turaga’s desk. “Many of these things seemed to be trivial items, forgotten in a hasty escape. But we weren’t able to find any weaponry.”
Tahve signed. A criminal group of Gang Matoran had formed in the last few months, and had challenged the Toa and Turaga’s rule in Keli-Nui. Ordinarily, the Toa and Matoran guards would’ve been able to subdue the criminals within a short time. However, these Gang Matoran had powerful projectile weapons that were capable of blowing apart buildings and keeping back Toa. Worst, they were sneaky enough to avoid capture so far, and whenever they were cornered, they were able to blow their way out.
“This isn’t working!” Ihrov said, pounding his fist on the Turaga’s desk. “We’re being too soft on these guys. We need to come down hard and harsh on them, and stop this threat once and for all!”
“I understand your position, Toa Ihrov,” Turaga Nolox said. “But your approach would kill these Gang Matoran, and I want them captured. Matoran can change, if given a second chance. I am sure we can reform the Gang Matoran and turn most of them into model citizens again… but we cannot do that if they’re killed. Then we’ll just be wasting Matoran lives.”
“Turaga Nolox has a point, brother,” Rhagre said. “We’re here to protect all the Matoran, not kill them. Even if they’ve gone in the wrong direction, that doesn’t mean they deserve to die. You’ve got to give them a chance.”
“You just want them to start idolizing you like all the others do,” spat Ihrov before he could help it.
The insult just bounced off Rhagre. “If the Matoran choose to idolize me, who am I to stop them. Anyway, I’m sure it’s possible for you to capture the Gang Matoran without any fatalities. You are a powerful Toa, after all.”
“Yes, that is true,” Ihrov said, lowering his voice. “Unfortunately, Pyrah and I will be starting from scratch again, Turaga, so do not expect developments anytime soon.”
Nolox nodded, and began to go through some of the confiscated items. He picked up a shard of metal, and looked it over, and then pulled out chisels, dim lightstones, a knife, an old scroll, and a handful of widgets. “It looks like you are right, Ihrov. Nothing here is of exceptional value. I shall take a closer look in the morning.” He began to replace the items in the box, but he held up the metal shard again. “This is a unique piece. Rhagre, I would like you to analyze this and tell me its properties by tomorrow.”
Rhagre took the metal, and weighed it in his hands. “It certainly is something rare,” he said. “I’ll look into it.” Being a Toa of Iron, this wouldn’t be difficult for him.
The three Toa turned to leave when the doors burst opened again. A buff Onu-Matoran entered, followed by three Guardsmen. “We tried to restrain him, but he just kept pushing through…” one of them started, but the Onu-Matoran interrupted them.
“YOU!” he shouted, pointing to Turaga Nolox. “You’re the one responsible for all this! This is all your fault!”
Nolox calmly placed the box of confiscated items under his desk, and smiled politely at the Matoran. “I’m afraid I don’t understand, Saith. What are you claiming I am responsible for?”
“SUNI!” Saith shouted. “You have turned her into an outlaw. First, you arrested her and completely disrupted her work. And now you’re spreading word about that’s making her seem like the leader of the Gang Matoran. I can no longer tolerate it.”
“I think you are ignoring some of the fine details,” Nolox said. “First of all, Suni was arrested for conducting a dangerous experiment. Normally, I would give a warning, but this was her fifth offense, and her experiment had already gone wrong. If left to her devices, she would’ve blown apart half the city. And, as you are most likely aware of, she escaped from her prison cell last week. We have simply been spreading the word around in hope of recapturing her. She is extremely willful, and refuses to see the danger of her experiments. We are trying to arrest her for her own safety, as well as the safety of the Matoran around her.”
“But she’s on to something!” Saith continued. “She’s making scientific breakthroughs that could help out Matoran everywhere, but you treat all her experiments as criminal wrongdoings, and now she’s out there somewhere on the run. You’ve completely ruined her life and everything she stands for!”
Nolox looked hard at the Onu-Matoran. “Saith, I know that you and Suni had a strong relationship, but I will not change my mind. Suni’s experiments are too risky, and she cannot keep using such dangerous techniques. I tried to reason with her, but she refused to abandon her habits for safer ones. If she is found, I must lock her up again until an agreement can be made.”
“You’re a tyrant!” Saith screamed, jumping towards the Turaga. Rhagre and Ihrov reacted instantly, and grabbed the wild Onu-Matoran before he could reach Nolox. Saith was strong for a Matoran, but was no match for two Toa.
“Please escort Saith out of the Capital Building,” Nolox said sadly. “I do hope he can return when his anger has abated.”
“You have this city in your iron fist!” Saith shouted, even as the Toa carried him out. “You have too many rules! One day, we’ll kick you out. Just you wait. One day the Matoran won’t need you anymore!”
“Come on, Pyrah,” Ihrov said. The Toa of Plasma followed the two Toa and the struggling Matoran, leaving the room empty save for Tahve and Nolox.
“Quite a night, isn’t it, Tahve,” the Turaga said, taking a deep breath.
Tahve allowed himself a nod and a smile. “Yes it is, Turaga.”
The door opened again, startling Tahve. He had not heard any footsteps approaching, as he had with the Toa. But the new cloaked being who entered had approached silently, and was not escorted by Matoran guards. Worst, there was something about him that chilled Tahve.
“Turaga Nolox,” the being said. “I must speak with you.” He turned to the Matoran. “You will leave now.”
Although the being was obviously someone of power, Tahve didn’t flinch. “I am here to protect the Turaga, and I take orders only from him,” he said stubbornly.
“Tahve is my loyal Guardsman,” Nolox said. “I would like to know why I should dismiss him.”
“I will only speak to you in private, and I will speak with you before I leave,” the being said.
“What gives you the right to order us around?” Tahve asked harshly.
The being pulled off his cloak, and leaned down to stared at the Matoran mask to mask. “The right of my species!”
“Ah, now I recognize you,” Nolox said, getting to his feet. “Makuta Krika, the Makuta of our region. Why didn’t you announce yourself in the first place?”
“I am here on urgent business,” Krika replied. “Confidential business.”
Nolox nodded. “I understand. Tahve, please step outside for a moment. Allow me to converse with Krika privately.”
Reluctantly, Tahve stepped out through the doors. As they closed, he saw Nolox sit back down and face Krika. For a moment, Tahve felt great respect for the Turaga, who looked a Makuta eye to eye without even flinching. And then the doors shut, and he saw and heard no more from the room.
Ten minutes later, Krika emerged from the Turaga’s Chambers, draped in his cloak again. As he moved down the hallways, Tahve could’ve sworn that he floated off the ground. He turned away and reentered the Turaga’s Chambers.
Nolox was still in his seat, putting something away in his desk, but his mood was darker than Tahve had ever seen it. “Thank you for your cooperation, Tahve,” he said as the Guard came through the doors. “Makuta show minimal respect to Matoran, and further arguments only would’ve enraged him. Besides, the news he brought is troublesome in its own right.”
“What news…” Tahve started, but a look from the Turaga was enough to silence him. It was obvious that the Turaga was not in the mood to share it with him.
“I must thank you, Tahve, for your great loyalty to me,” the Turaga said suddenly. “There are few Matoran brave enough to stand up to the likes of a Makuta, and even fewer who would give their life to protect an elder such as me. I am very greatful for your service to me, as well as your friendship.”
“Turaga, is something wrong?” Tahve asked, shaken by the Turaga’s tone.
“Yes, something is wrong,” The Turaga said, looking to the ceiling. The stars could be seen through the windows in the domed roof. “This city remains at peace, but forces of darkness are shrouding it. Ill tidings are almost upon us, and I can only hope that the Matoran of Keli-Nui will make it through.”
Tahve held his breath. Makuta Krika must’ve brought very bad news to get Nolox into such a dark mood.
“But as long as the Matoran can hold to the Three Virtues, they can weather the storm,” Nolox said, half to himself. “And with that said, I must ask you to excuse me for another moment, Tahve. There is one last matter I must attend to on my own.”
Tahve nodded slowly, and exited the room. He held his spear at his side, and guarded the Turaga’s doors, but his mood was dark now. Turaga Nolox was not a Turaga to foretell sinister futures.
For ten minutes, there was naught but silence in the Capital Building, and Tahve had time to mull over his thoughts. Then the peace was broken by a scream and an explosion that shook the floor. Tahve turned, his heartlight flashing faster than ever before. The explosion had come from the Turaga’s Chamber.
He burst through the door and took in the scene. Nolox’s desk had been blown apart in some sort of energy blast, and the confiscated items were strewn across the floor. Nolox himself had been thrown against the back wall, and was crumbled on the floor.
Tahve ran over to the Turaga and tried to lift him up, but the Turaga’s body was already broken. His limbs and armor were cracked and bent in unnatural ways. Worst, Nolox’s noble Ruru mask was nearly cracked in half. Behind the ruined Kanohi, the Turaga’s eyes were dimmed and his breath came in horrible ragged gasps.
“Turaga!” Tahve cried. “Turaga, answer me! You can’t die! No, you can’t die.” Tahve’s logic told him that Nolox was fatally wounded. All he could do was comfort the Turaga now. But his heart wouldn’t accept such a dreadful truth so quickly.
“Tahve…” the Turaga started, his eyes focusing on the Matoran’s mask for a moment.
“Turaga! Turaga! Nolox!” Tahve said. “Don’t go!”
“Tahve… don’t look,” Nolox said. “Don’t… look…” And then the Turaga’s eyes glazed over, and he breathed his last breath.
Tahve howled in grief.
This post has been edited by xccj: Jun 28 2008, 02:37 AM
Jun 26 2008, 11:40 PM
Mask of Time Discovered
Group: Premier Outstanding BZP Citizens
Joined: 17-January 03
Member No.: 4255
Chapter 3: An Unusual Interview
Tahve was awoken by a light tapping. He had retired to the Guards’ quarters last night, and had fallen asleep instantly. Unfortunately, he had slept fitfully the whole night, having dreamt of Turaga Nolox’s murder over and over again. He arose from his bed tablet and looked up to see Jalkal at the door.
“Tahve,” he said. “We have to talk.”
Jalkal was the Captain of the Matoran guard, and Tahve’s superior. And the look on his mask was not a pleasant one.
“I heard what happened last night,” Jalkal started, frowning slightly. “Already, the Matoran of Keli-Nui have been informed of the passing of their Turaga. However, until the Toa find the murderer, we are limiting the details released.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Tahve asked.
“I do not want you spreading out the word until we are ready,” Jalkal explained.
“But… why would I?” Tahve questioned.
“Because you are hereby relieved of your Guard duty,” Jalkal said.
Tahve blinked, hardly understanding the words. “What? But Jalkal…”
“I am not blaming you for the Turaga’s murder,” Jalkal said quickly. “Whatever got past you also got past the Toa and the rest of the Matoran Guard. Only Bohriv is suspicious… and Bohriv is always suspicious.”
“But then why am I being relieved?” Tahve asked.
Jalkal put his hand on Tahve’s shoulder. “I know you are a dedicated and talented Guard, but last night you lost it. I can’t blame you; if I had been in the same situation, I don’t know if I could’ve kept my head. But this affected you, Tahve, and you need time to recuperate and relax. You need time away from the Guard.”
Tahve hesitated before speaking again. He couldn’t just let this whole thing go; the guilt on him was too great. All night, he had dreamt of Nolox in pain, Nolox crying for help, Nolox blaming him for his death. He had to do something.
“I’m not going to stand back and let the Toa do this on their own,” Tahve finally said. “If I am relieved of my Guard duty, then I will have the freedom to help them find the murderer.”
Jalkal smiled sadly. “I cannot stop you from doing this, Tahve, but as your friend, I recommend that you go home and rest. We have a dedicated team of six Toa who can solve this case; you don’t need to trouble yourself over it.”
Tahve entered his apartment on the western side of the city. As he opened the door, he saw that the interior was dark and dusty. He hadn’t been to his apartment in a week because of his active guard duty in the Capital Building. If he was going to be living here for a while, he would have to clean up.
Setting aside his equipment, Tahve pondered over the Toa’s plan. Rhagre and the others were spreading out across the city, looking for any sign of trouble, while Ihrov and Pyrah stayed behind in the Capital Building. Rhagre was certain Kavihkli was their murderer, but they were also on the lookout for any Gang Matoran. However, when Tahve had offered his help, Rhagre had declined.
“We’re mighty Toa, after all,” the Toa of Iron had said. “If there’s anybody who could catch the perpetrator, it’s us. No need to worry your head about it, Matoran.”
“Nolox was my Turaga too,” Tahve said to himself, as he continued to clean his apartment. “I’m sure that I could help out.”
He dusted off his protodermic safe, and entered the code. He pulled out his Kanoka launcher and collection of Kanoka discs, and looked them over. They appeared to be in good condition, even though he hadn’t used them in months. But if he was going to track down somebody dangerous, he wanted to be armed and ready.
There was a knock on his door. Tahve turned sharply, the launcher already clutched in his hand. Who would come to see him at this time in the morning? He’d just returned; most people would expect to find him at the Capital Building. Could it possibly be the murderer? After he had taken out the Turaga, was he going after the Turaga’s Guard next?
Tahve cautiously approached the door and looked through the peephole. Standing on the other end was a Lightning Matoran. And Tahve recognized her Great Komau mask. He set aside his launcher and opened the door. “Hello, Feli.”
The Matoran smiled. “Tahve, I am so glad I found you. May I come in?”
“Sure,” Tahve said, stepping aside to let Feli enter. “Sorry that it’s so dirty. I just returned.”
Feli giggled. “I’m sure it’s always like this.” She looked uncertainly at Tahve. “So, are you okay?”
“Yes, why wouldn’t I be?” Tahve asked.
“Well… I heard about what happened,” Feli said. “And I heard that you were on Guard duty when… when it happened.”
“I’m better,” Tahve said reassuringly. “But I am going to track down this criminal. I feel that it is my duty to Turaga Nolox.”
“I see,” Feli started. “Um, so do you have any leads?”
Tahve looked hard at the Lightning Matoran. “Maybe. Would you like to write this down?”
“Oh, yes, that’s a good idea!” Feli said instantly, taking out her woven journal and pen. Suddenly she froze, realizing what she had done. “Oh.”
“You were sent here to interview me, weren’t you?” Tahve asked, sitting down at his table.
“Just a short one!” Feli insisted, sitting down opposite from Tahve. “They didn’t tell us too much in the official report, and the Head Chronicler sent me up because I knew you and…”
“He was trying to use you to get an insider interview,” Tahve finished for her.
“You don’t understand!” Feli said. “He hasn’t let me write anything for the Chronicler’s Post since I wrote that article about the Takea invasion.”
“But it turned out that there wasn’t a massive swarm of sharks in the harbor,” Tahve said. “You were just at the docks and saw some fish in the water.”
“I thought they were ferocious predators!” Feli said in defense. “Besides, I don’t need to get a lot of details. I just need to get the five Hs and the one W.”
“That what?” Tahve asked.
“The five Hs and the one W, which describe all murder cases,” Feli explained. “You know. How, Hoo, and, uh, Hardy, uh, Hello, Happiness, and Whale Watching.”
Tahve looked at her, and Feli tried to hold a smile. “Don’t you mean the five Ws and one H?” he asked. “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.”
Feli broke down, and dropped her mask into her arms, sobbing. “Oh, I’m horrible at this! I’ll never be worthy Chronicler! I never get this right!”
“Hey, hey, it’s okay,” Tahve said, slightly alarmed. “I’m sure you’re good, really.”
“This happens every time,” Feli whimpered. “Every time they give me a chance, I completely mess up the article and become the laughing stock of the newspaper. Every single time!”
“Well, maybe I can help you,” Tahve said. “You just want to write an innocent article to inform the general public. I can help you with that.”
“But I was supposed to be sneaky!” Feli said. “I was supposed to ‘weasel’ it out of you, and I couldn’t even do that right! They’ll fire me for sure this time!”
“It would’ve been better if you had just asked me,” Tahve said kindly.
Ordinarily, Tahve would’ve kept quiet, but Feli was one of his closest friends outside of the Guard. He had seen her time and time again fail at writing for the Chronicler’s Post, and knew this was especially hard on her because she wanted to be a Chronicler most of all. However, she was clumsy, forgetful, and often too straightforward. She would botch up the simplest article. She never learned from her mistakes either, because the other Chroniclers never helped her correct them. Instead, they ridiculed her until she broke down into tears.
Jalkal had told him to keep quiet, but it wouldn’t hurt if Feli knew a few of the inside facts. It could help her make an impression with the newspaper. Besides, there were a few things Tahve wouldn’t mind going over with somebody else, if for nothing more than to just clear his mind.
“I can answer a few of your questions,” he said, handing her back her journal. “Go ahead, ask.”
“Okay,” Feli said, wiping away her tears. “Um, so, when did this happen?”
“It happened last night, in the Turaga’s Quarters,” Tahve answered.
“There was some sort of energy blast, which killed Nolox,” Tahve said quietly.
“Where’d the energy blast come from?” Feli asked.
“We don’t know, actually,” Tahve admitted.
“Oh,” Feli said, looking over her notes. “Um, who did it?”
“We don’t know, but there are some suspects,” Tahve said. “Toa Rhagre seems to think that the Dark Hunter Kavihkli is the culprit, but the other Toa also suspect the Gang Matoran.”
“Why would they want to kill the Turaga?” Feli asked, genuinely curious.
“Well, if you know anything about the Gang Matoran, you know that they hate the administration,” Tahve said. “They want the Toa and Turaga gone, so they can run the city the way they want to. And the Dark Hunters are skilled at assassinations, so we can’t rule them out, especially a rouge one.”
“Anybody else?” Feli asked.
“Well, there is Suni,” Tahve said. “The escaped Ga-Matoran chemist. She hated Turaga Nolox because he hindered her scientific progress. She’s escaped and on the run, so it’s possible that she may have come back for revenge. Or it could be her boyfriend Saith, who blamed Nolox for turning Suni into a fugitive.”
“Suni the mad scientist?” Feli asked. “The Chronicler’s Post did an article on her the other day. She’s pretty strange, but is she a murderer?”
“Maybe,” Tahve replied.
“Anybody else with motives against the Turaga?”
“Well…” Tahve started, almost afraid to say what was on his mind. “There are a few others… but this has to be off the record.”
“Yes,” Feli said, putting down her pen.
“Some of the Toa don’t exactly get along with the Turaga,” Tahve said. “Both Ihrov and Bohriv disagreed with Turaga Nolox on many accounts. But I don’t see anything powerful enough to make them murder him. And then there is also Rhagre. He might’ve staged the murder so he could take up the top position and get more glory. But I don’t see him going that far; he got along with Nolox.”
“Surely the Toa wouldn’t be that bad,” Feli said.
“I sure hope so.”
“And anything else?”
Tahve thought about Makuta Krika, and how Turaga Nolox’s mood had changed after their meeting. “There could be other beings, with powers we don’t know, who could also be responsible.”
“Beings with powers we don’t know,” Feli repeated, scribbling it down. “Anything more?”
“Not really,” Tahve said. “But, as a friend, I can tell you this. I am not going to sit aside and let the Toa work this on their own. Turaga Nolox was my responsibility, and my friend. I am going to be searching for this murderer too.”
“But won’t that be dangerous?” Feli asked.
“Can’t be any worst than the campaigns I’ve been on before,” Tahve said. “There was that one time I helped the Toa search for dangerous Rahi in the mountains. That was pretty scary.”
“Well, I’d better get this in,” Feli said, holding up her journal. “Thanks you, Tahve. And do be careful.”
“Good luck,” Tahve said, helping her out the door. “And make sure to come by and tell me how it goes. I could use some good news today.”
Jun 28 2008, 12:21 AM
Mask of Time Discovered
Group: Premier Outstanding BZP Citizens
Joined: 17-January 03
Member No.: 4255
Chapter 10: Discover the Chemist
Tahve reached Saith’s street and paused to catch his breath. He didn’t want to get too close; that might alert Saith that something was up. What he had to do was find the places where Feli would most likely spy on the shop.
He entered the building adjacent to Saith’s shop from the back door, and made his way through the rooms. It was a crafters shop, with various rooms for Matoran to create tools and others to sell them in. At this time in the afternoon, it was nearly empty, and no Matoran would arouse too much suspicious by running down the hallways, even if he carried a Kanoka launcher. Tahve wasted no time, and started searching the rooms with windows facing Saith’s street.
Finally, he found what he was looking for. He opened one room to find Feli’s scattered supplies in the corner. She had a portable telescope and her journal, which was opened and filled with her notes. However, she was conspicuous by her absence.
“Where is she now?” Tahve muttered, looking around. He picked up her journal and started reading her notes. A few pages were filled up with ideas for future articles, but one page had a chart of times written on it. There were two columns; one was labeled “Leaves” and the other “Returns.”
Tahve rubbed his mask. Feli had recorded when Saith had left and how long he was gone. She even added some extra details, such as what he brought back when he returned. Tahve had to admit that it was a good strategy, but it lead to a disturbing course of action. Feli was recording how long Saith was gone to know how much time she would have to sneak in.
Tahve caught a glimpse of yellow and red out the window. He looked down on the street and his jaw dropped. He saw Feli stealthily enter Saith’s shop. Obviously, Saith had just gone out for another trip, and Tahve had missed Feli on his way up. Judging by Feli’s notes, she had less than twenty minutes before Saith came back. If he caught her sneaking in, there was no telling what he’d do to her.
His heartlight flashing, Tahve tore out of the building and back into the street. He looked around wildly, but didn’t see Saith approaching. Then, taking one last breath, he ducked into the shop.
It was dark inside the main showroom. Tahve walked to the back and noted a small staircase that led up above the shop to Saith’s personal quarters. However, there was no light on up there, and he could hear no movement. Where had Feli gotten off to?
He became aware of a slight glow in the next room. He cautiously entered and discovered a door leading down into a basement. This puzzled Tahve; most building like this didn’t have basements because the Matoran preferred to build up instead of down. However, if Saith had an unknown basement, then he might also be hiding something down there.
Tahve grabbed his Kanoka launcher and started down the staircase towards the basement. But halfway down, he froze. He could hear a voice below.
“Who are you?” snapped a harsh female voice.
“I… um,” said another voice, which Tahve recognized as Feli’s.
There was a sudden zap, followed instantly by a shriek from Feli. The other voice said, “Good, now you know what I can do. Answer me or I won’t miss next time.”
“I’m just a customer,” Feli stuttered. “I couldn’t find… find Saith, and I saw this light, and I thought he might be down here.”
“When Saith left, he put up the giant closed sign,” the other voice said, unconvinced. “Besides, I saw you push open the door to the basement. You didn’t see a light here.”
There was another zap, and Feli quickly started speaking again. “No, no, I really don’t mean any harm. Really, I was just looking for Saith… I don’t want any trouble.”
“You look like you’re just a lowly criminal, hoping to steal some riches while the blacksmith’s away,” the other voice accused.
“But aren’t you a criminal too!” Feli broke out. “I’ve recognized you from your picture. You’re Suni.”
These words startled Tahve. He inched down closer to the bottom, and peeked around the corner. He saw that the basement was actually a giant lab, with machinery filling up a majority of the space. Even then, it was a very large basement. He could see Feli, backed into a wall. The other Matoran, assumedly Suni, had her back to Tahve and was facing down the Matoran of Lightning. She held some sort of blaster in her hand, and she fired a laser from it. Feli dodged to the side in fright, and the laser burned a smoking hole into the wall.
“I’m not a lowly criminal like yourself,” Suni snarled. “I’m a brilliant scientist who just happens to be on the run. If it weren’t for that blasted Turaga and his team of Toa, I’d be out working my inventions for the betterment of the Matoran.”
“No, no, I’m not a criminal!” Feli said. “I’m… I’m a Chronicler. And I’d love to interview you and get your… your unique perspective.”
“You’re just looking for some reward,” Suni snapped, aiming her laser blaster to Feli’s mask.
“No, please no,” Feli whimpered.
“I should just blow that pretty little Komau off your face,” Suni jeered. “But first, I want the truth. Why are you down here!?”
Tahve gripped his launcher, and prepared to jump out and attack. But then he felt something in the air behind him, along with a soft whisper, “I wouldn’t try that if I were you.” A quick glance behind him confirmed that Saith had caught him.
Saith pushed Tahve out into the basement, surprising Suni and Feli. “I thought something odd was going on, especially when I kept seeing that Matoran of Lightning staring at me from the window across the street,” Saith said. “Turns out I was right.”
“Tahve!” Feli cried out, excited. “You came!”
“Tahve,” Saith repeated. “Part of the Matoran Guard, right? Or were you the one they fired? Maybe it was because you decided to break and enter.”
“You’re the one that’s harboring a convicted criminal,” Tahve muttered.
Suni heard this, spun around and aimed her laser blaster at Tahve. “What did you call me? I am not a lowly criminal, except in the eyes of the Turaga and the Matoran he’s brainwashed.”
“Newsflash,” Tahve snapped harshly. “The Turaga’s dead, and has been for two days. And now the city’s Toa are in danger. So if you let us go now, I can find the true murderer, and maybe even forget what I saw down here.”
Suni chuckled. “Oh no, the poor, poor Toa are in danger. If that was supposed to sway me, then you don’t know me very well.”
“No, Suni and I have crafted a better solution for this,” Saith said. “Drop your launcher, and join your little friend. You’re not going anywhere for a long time.”
Tahve didn’t want to give in so easily, but both Saith and Suni were aiming at him. Worst, if he fought back, they might turn on Feli, who was defenseless. Reluctantly, he dropped his launcher, and walked over to Feli.
“Tahve, why did you come?” Feli asked.
“To try and help you,” Tahve said. “Looks like I didn’t do a good enough job.”
“But what should you expect from a minion of the Turaga?” Suni asked, snorting. “A pathetic charade of a leadership. He restricts the best and brightest, and let’s the dull continue on with their meaningless ways of life.”
“You know full well why you were arrested,” Tahve snapped. “You put yours and others’ lives in danger with your little experiments.”
“Risks have to be taken to achieve greatness,” Suni said. “And sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”
“For example, you sacrificed your freedom by coming here,” Saith said, grabbed two metal beams which had computer chips embedded in them. “Don’t move,” he said, as he placed the beams on either side of the two Matoran. Then he pressed a button, and bars of lasers formed around Tahve and Feli, trapping them in a cage.
“An effective way to contain Rahi or overly sneaky Matoran,” Suni said. “Pure laser bars, capable of cutting through protosteel. With a few slight adjustments, we can make the cage shrink until…”
“But we won’t need to go to such extremes,” Saith said quickly, cutting Suni off. “As long as you are contained, you pose no threat.”
“Why are you doing this, Saith?” Feli asked. “She’s a criminal, and she’s mean. She tried to blow my mask off.”
“Suni can be a little trigger-happy, but she’s looking out for all Matoran,” Saith said. “She realizes that our Turaga and Toa ‘leaders’ are hampering us too much. Matoran need to be free to govern themselves and make their own decisions.”
“Funny, that’s how Gang Matoran think,” Tahve muttered. Saith ignored him.
“I was so close to making a breakthrough, but then I was arrested,” Suni said. “When I got out, I came to Saith. He understands me, and let me use his secret basement to restart my studies. With his help as a blacksmith, I have been able to create so much in just a few weeks.”
“We’ve made machinery that will make the Toa inadequate,” Saith said. “Machinery that can make the Matoran true masters of their own affairs.”
“We’ve made robots before,” Feli said. “Yes, you’re rather creative, but are these things completely revolutionary?”
“Well, I do know some Gang Matoran who would kill for that laser blaster,” Tahve added.
“What do the Turaga and Toa have to power their robotics and vehicles?” Suni leered. “Magnetized protoermis? Kanoka discs? Weak, weak sources. But I have created something of supreme power!” She gestured to a metal chamber in the center of the room. “I call it an Energy Cell. A mixture of liquid protodermis and other chemicals that are constantly combusting. I have discovered the mixture and found a way to contain it and tap into it. Now I can recreate this into smaller cells and power all other machinery indefinitely.” She held up her laser blaster. “This blaster taps directly into the Energy Cell, using its power to create a pure energy blast. This blaster has enough energy to down your average Matoran, but a larger blaster can take down a full grown Toa and any other being that crosses our path!”
“You’re crazy!” Feli shouted. “This is exactly why the Turaga locked you away! You can kill somebody with that!”
“Why, that’s its main purpose,” Sun said, aiming her gun at Feli through the bars of her cage. “Who’s the one caged now?”
Saith reached over and forced Suni’s arm down. “We’re saving these for those who matter, not other Matoran.”
“What are you talking about?” Tahve asked.
“The Energy Cell can be used for more than just blasting foes,” Saith said. “It can be used to power any machinery. With my technical skills and Suni’s scientific discoveries, we can make something that can down a Toa. In fact, that’s what these are designed to do.”
He reached up and pulled a tarp off a large shelf. Or, at least, Tahve thought it was a large shelf. Instead, it uncovered two humanoid figures. They were powerful robotic suits of armor, covered with thick plates of metal and a compartment for a Matoran driver. One arm was a larger laser blaster, while the other had a tools on it; one suit had a sharp claw while the other had a nasty drill. Embedded in the back of both suits was a miniature version of the Energy Cell, which was used to power the suits.
“These beauties can stand up to anything,” Suni bragged. “Using my chemical genius, I have added protective coatings to make them immune to most elemental blasts. And, of course, there’s no way a spear or sword can piece the armor. Inside, the Matoran is perfectly protected. They can move this armor around with ease, and challenge beings much larger than they are.”
“And what do you plan to do with these?” Feli asked in a whisper.
“It’s obvious,” Saith said. “We’re going to use these to take out the rest of the Toa in Keli-Nui. Somebody already got the Turaga for us, but we can take down the greater foes.”
“If what you say is true, and the Toa are in danger, then we’d better hurry,” Suni said. “We’ve been preparing all day for an attack, and we have to get there soon enough to take out our share of Toa.”
“You don’t understand,” Tahve shouted. “You’re getting in the middle of a scheme that’s bigger than you! It’s dangerous.”
“In these suits, we are invulnerable!” Saith said. He pulled down the armor to one of the suits, and helped Suni inside. The armor clamped in around her arms and legs, protecting her fully. Only her mask was visible behind a strong sheet of glass. The armor began to move, as it flexed its powerful arms. Suni was able to control the robotic limbs as if they were her own.
Saith climbed into his own suit. “We were thinking about stalling our attack a little longer, but with your intrusion, I suppose there’s no better time than the present.”
“I can’t believe you’re doing this!” Feli said. “The Toa are our protectors!”
“The Toa only want to control us!” Saith snapped. “Well, its time we showed them who has the real power.”
“By the time we return, Keli-Nui will have six less Toa,” Suni said. “And now we have to be off.”
“I would reconsider that last statement!” The basement door was blown down the stairwell, and two Toa entered. “I think we have something to discuss.”
Feli beamed. “Toa Rhagre! Toa Gambar!”
Tahve smiled, but only weakly. He wasn’t sure if he completely trusted Rhagre, because he was self absorbed and quick to act. There was still the possibility that he had killed Turaga Nolox.
Plus, there was the whole thing about two deranged Matoran in Toa-killing armor that dampened his mood.
Suni, despite the turn of events, grinned. “To think the first Toa killed would be in my lab!” With that, she charged into battle.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 19th May 2013 - 04:55 AM|